Hundred Names of Chandragupta Maurya




         That no coins of Chandragupta is known does not concern writers like Chakrabarti or Thapar. A judicious study shows that Andragoras was Chandragupta. The coins of Andragoras have been dated to the fourth-century BC by many scholars, and both Plutarch and Appian use a similar name, Androcottus, for Chandragupta. Tarn gave the crucial information that the Sun's quadriga of Andragoras' coins was also used by Vakshu or Oxyartes. The Charioteer of the Sun God is Aruna in Sanskrit and thus the coin can be seen to belong to Arunadas or Orontes, another name of Andragoras.

      If it is recognized that Bindusara's name Amitraghata is an error for Amitradata, Mauryan history takes a very dramatic turn. It can be inferred that (A)Mitradata was also a name of his father Chandragupta who was a world figure like Alexander the Great with whom his name is often associated. Like Alexander the Great, Chandragupta could also have proclaimed, `Putroham Prthivyah' - 'I am a son of the earth'.

      Mithridates–II who, according to Diodorus, rose to the throne of Pontus in 337 B.C. (Diod. xvi. 90.) appears to be Chandragupta. Diodorus assigns him a reign of thirty-five years(337-302 B.C.), but it appears certain that he did not hold uninterrupted possession of the sovereignty during that period. The circumstances that led to his absence from Pontus are not known; indeed no farther notice of him is available from the date of his accession in 337 B.C. until some time after the death of Alexander (~322 B.C.), when he is found attending the court and camp of Antigonus. The date is important as it is the date of accession of Chandragupta.
    Crucial information comes from a very ancient Indian source, the Sanskrit drama Mudrarakshasa. Curiously in many manuscripts of the drama, Chandragupta is absent but his role is taken up by Rantivarma which suggests that it was another name of the former. As `varma', like `bates', is a title, Rantivarma can be seen to be the same as Orontobates. Diodorus (xix 46, 47) writes that Orontobates was appointed the satrap of Media by Antigonus. He soon after successfully repulsed an attack by some partisans of Eumenes and Peithon. Arrian writes that Orontobates was present in the army of Darius-III in the battle of Gaugamela. From Diodorus we learn that Mithridates-III, son of Mithridates-II succeeded to the throne in 302 B.C. This is Bindusara Amitrodata. Diodorus writes that he added largely to the dominions inherited from his father.

       As in the case of Chandragupta, no coins of any Nanda kings are known. In fact the absence of any Nanda or Maurya coin is seen only as a minor problem by mainstream writers like R. Thapar. Here also progress can be made by shifting the focus to a wider arena. That the Nandas were masters of a vast area stretching up to Baluchistan is known but owing to Jonesian delusions it has not been realised that, like Mithridates-II, the Nandas were also active in the Pontus area.

       G. Waddingham describes a Cilician coin bearing the legend AGR and depicting a king slaying a lion which is similar to SNG-Paris-Cilicie#209. The lion may symbolise the Macedonians who were in conflict with Nandas.


Coin of Agramesh?


AGR may be a reference to Agramesh who, according to Curtius, was the ruler of the Gangaridae and Prasii. Agramesh may be a Nanda king.